Taxpayers Lose $23.5 Million to Pay IRS Union Members to Do Union Business On The Clock

Here is a perfect example of why unions should be outlawed for all government workers. And I do mean all government workers. A new study finds that we, the American taxpayer, are ripped off to the tune of $23.5 million a year in tax money that goes to pay IRS union members to do union work while they are on the clock and supposed to be working for we, the people.

That’s right, you the taxpayer are paying IRS workers not to do IRS work. You are paying IRS employees to do nothing productive.

This is called “official time” (sometimes it’s called “union time”) and it is paid to IRS employees who are officers in the government union. These union officers carry out union work on the clock, during the time they are supposed to be doing work for the IRS.

Some of the activities these thieves engage in are things such as organizing union meetings, talking to other union members about union matters, or going on union-sponsored training events that aren’t training for IRS work but is instead training for union issues. And you are paying them a salary to do all this.

As the National Right to Work Committee reported in May, “The fact is that there are numerous federal employees, who are also union officials, work ZERO hours for the federal government, yet are paid full-time, given bonuses, raises, paid vacations, and promotions.”

A recent editorial at the Washington Times pointed out that these union officers rip off the national treasury for millions every year. “IRS employees spent 573,319 hours in 2012 working on union business,” the editorial revealed.

These employees charged $687,400 in travel to the taxpayers. In May 2012, for one example, union stewards flew at taxpayer expense to Las Vegas for union “training.” These “training” events, put on by the union, are expensive. In 2010 an IRS “training” convention cost $4.1 million. “Instructional” videos, parodies of “Star Trek” episodes, were created to “instruct” agency employees. The union naturally wants greater benefits, bigger salaries and more handsome bonuses, and somebody has to lobby Congress to get them. So Congress pays the union to do it.

Naturally 94 percent of these IRS employees’ political contributions go to Democrat candidates and Democrat Party apparatchiks.

Why is that latter point important? Because all this isn’t just a mere corruption. In fact, because Democrats have allowed it to be, this waste of tax dollars, this rip off of the people is actually enshrined in law.

As The IRS union’s National President Colleen M. Kelley recently noted, “By statute, official time cannot be used for any purpose not directly related to the representation of bargaining unit employees in matters concerning conditions of employment, such as bargaining contracts or agreements. Official time cannot be used for internal union activities or for any political purpose.”

So, by law taxpayers are forced to pay the salaries of people who do no work for the American people

But, you may say, so what? It’s just the IRS, here. The amount these few employees are paid is no big deal.

Ah, but the fact is it isn’t just the IRS union that does this. In fact, it isn’t just the federal government that does this. The truth is that this “official” or “union” time is paid to employees at every level of government from Washington to your state government to your county and city governments.

You tax payers are having your tax dollars wasted to the tune of hundreds of billions a year all across the country in money paid to members of government unions, money given to them to not work a second for the very tax payers being forced to pay for this outrageous waste. And this disgusting waste is actually enshrined in the law. We aren’t just being ripped off, we are being ripped off as a matter of law!

This is exactly why there should be no such thing as a government union. President Franklin Roosevelt was right when he said that it was “unthinkable and intolerable” to have a government union.

No government employee at any level should be allowed to be in a union. Unions are antithetical to good government.

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  • http://nomayo.mu.nu Stephen_Macklin

    “You are paying IRS employees to do nothing productive.”

    Doesn’t this describe most of what we pay the IRS for?

    • Walter_Cronanty

      I hate to say this, but if I had my choice, I’d rather Lois Lerner do union work than use the IRS to persecute the administration’s political foes. I know, it’s a false choice that we shouldn’t have to make – but paying her to do nothing is better than paying her for doing what she did.
      And Warner’s right, there should never be government unions. It’s the only bargaining table where the negotiator sitting on one side of the table bought and paid for the negotiator sitting on the other side. And they’re both acutely aware of the situation.

  • Paul Hooson

    Most union related activity within a business actually is of benefit to the business as well. For example, after one death at work and another man losing fingers in a machine, my father was also the Baker’s Union safety inspector at his workplace where he worked for 45 years, where he helped to cut accidents and Workman’s Comp claims directed against the company besides protecting lives. Before this, some men were operating equipment with critical safety shields not in place or other sloppy workplace activity that could result in death or injury. – On the other hand, a close friend of mine worked in a nonunion machine shop that contracted with Boeing, and a giant aircraft part broke apart on a giant lathe, slashing through his head and chest, nearly cutting him in two, killing him instantly in a horrible workplace accident that was probably unlikely to happen in a union shop.

    • LiberalNightmare

      Those evil non union basterds!
      Where do they get off forcing those poor workers to work on dangerous equipment without first forcing them to pay union dues!

      • Paul Hooson

        For $40 a month in union dues, my father received a $1600 a month retirement check, entirely paid for by union investments in mutual funds. – You can figure the math, but in addition to higher wages and health care benefits for the entire 45 years he worked at the company, he received this $1600 a month check for the last 20 years of his life. – Altogether that’s more than he ever paid in, paid from the interest and investment returns from the union.

        From some men who are not good money managers, this was a type of trust fund for the men, giving them a nice living retirement at the end of work careers. In fact, the dues were posted as the Baker’s Union Trust.

        • LiberalNightmare

          Thats very impressive, especially when you consider that half of your fathers union dues were illegally routed to the democratic party.

          • Paul Hooson

            No. COPE, the Committee On Political Education, a wing of the politically moderate AFL-CIO, actually has over the years endorsed many Republicans for office in Oregon including former Congressman Wendall Wyatt, Secretary Of State Clay Myers, Governor and Senator Mark Hatfield, Senator Wayne Morse, who was a Republican but switched parties. – The Bakers Trust is a trust fund. The small amount of union dues that went to the AFL-CIO have funded many activities including charities such as The Jerry Lewis Telephon besides the political education COPE organization which encourages members to consider votes for endorsed candidates. Every year, candidates of both parties attend events and speak to members, giving both parties equal access to gaining an endorsement.

    • http://www.publiusforum.com/ Warner Todd Huston

      Nothing a union does is a “benefit to the business.” Private OR government sector.

      • Paul Hooson

        I’m not sure how many employees you’ve had to hire in business, Warner, but there is less turnover with union employees, creating a more stable workplace, and reducing time or costs to recruit or train new employees. In construction or manufacturing situations, one employee associated with the union will volunteer to reduce accidents and ensure workplace safety. A more professional workforce will keep an employer out of the courtrooms with less consumer complaints or small claims cases. With stable and established employment rules and wages, there will be less problems with state employment and tax regulators, safety agencies, government regulators. There will be less employee complaints, lawsuits, actions or liens caused by unclear wage situations or wage disputes, such as female employees claiming they were paid less than male counterparts for the same work, such as a “right to work” workplace invites, with differing wages to different workers. – The cost savings in less lawsuits, fines from state regulators, less lawyer costs, all favor a union workplace in many circumstances.

        It just seems like unions help to streamline regulations as well create a more professional workplace in some types of business situations where government regulations, employment lawsuits, or other problems may arise from less professional nonunion situations.

        • SCSIwuzzy

          So have all of your various enterprises over the years been union shops Paul?

          • Paul Hooson

            No. And this has led to substantial labor issues with turnover, worker complaints of wage disparity between workers for similar work, state regulator, tax withholding and other problems such as workers accepting a given wage and then months later claiming they were supposedly owed thousands more dollars, or them filing unemployment claims for compensation after only a few days work etc,. that a union business could have avoided. – Many businesses are far better off becoming union because of less worker turnover or wage dispute or claims issues. – My bar reminds me of being similar to a casino, with a larger workforce. That’s a lot to organize when different people are offered different wages for different work.

          • SCSIwuzzy

            So why not unionize, it sounds great for everyone? Win win win.

          • Paul Hooson

            Unions work well for some businesses such as manufacturing, construction, plumbing trades etc., but some business models such as McDonald’s or WalMart that rely on a uneducated and mostly unskilled workforce, it seems to benefit them to use cheap labor despite a high turnover rate. But, some McDonald’s locations have closed as a result of this cheap way of doing business that backfired and depressed sales to a point where the location is not viable. – Whether an employer chooses to go union or not really depends on the level of professionalism of their business along with the risks of liability from consumers or employees. – You tell me the business, and I’ll tell you whether a union workforce or unskilled labor works best.

          • SCSIwuzzy

            How about we start with the variety of non union shops you’ve told us you’ve owned/ran over the years? Like the non union grocery. Why wasn’t it a good fit for the store and the workers?

          • Paul Hooson

            I’m foremost a real estate investor. Tomorrow for example, I’m inviting the investor who purchased Hollywood Video for $97 million over to look at a property I’m offering for a couple of million dollars. – I purchased the small grocery story for just $83,000. It was 100 years old, but poorly run by a Korean family grossing only $90,000 a year. I improved the beer, wine and food inventory, and within one year, had the gross up to $430,000. I sold it to a family from Malaysia who are now grossing over half a million a year. I picked up one gas station for $16,000, and sold this to an apartment house developer as prime development land. – The little grocery was run on a model of lower overhead by myself and brother providing most of the labor. I told my brother the only way that we will succeed is to outwork the Korean family and be better in our inventory in every way.

            I make my best money getting a good price on a development property, developing it into a viable business, then reselling it for a profit a few months to a year later.

            I’ve thought about acquiring a roofing company sometime, but I would want a good union work crew for that type of business. But, you’re selling a $15,000 to $50,000 product.

          • SCSIwuzzy

            So no, you can’t explain why none of your businesses aren’t union.

        • http://www.publiusforum.com/ Warner Todd Huston

          Yeah, there’s “less turnover” because no matter how bad they are as workers you can’t fire them! That’s a real solution you have going there.

          • Paul Hooson

            No. Bad workers can always be fired. But, it does become a longer process to fire a union worker because of their ability to appeal through their union. But, as a rule union workers are a better workforce. Some union workers start out as good, but may turn to drinking, drugs or poor work habits later on, where they later need to be fired. That part can be frustrating for an employer.

  • LiberalNightmare

    Hey, those hard drives aren’t going to destroy themselves ya know.

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